Maintaining your first aid kit is essential to be able to act quickly in the event of an emergency. This means making sure your kit is always stocked up and ensuring it is stored in an appropriate way.
Being prepared is key to making life easier, especially in winter when there never seems to be enough hours in the day. If your horse suffers an injury and you reach into your first aid kit, only to find that you used your last tube of wound gel months ago, it will only add to the stress as you jump into the car to race to the nearest tack shop.
Your first aid kit should be clearly labelled making it easily identifiable to everyone on the yard and be stored in an accessible place and returned to its designated spot after every use.
Ideally, the kit should be stored somewhere clean and dry and during winter you will need to ensure the kit is kept at room temperature to prevent any liquid products from freezing. Consideration should also be given to the type of container that you choose to store your first aid products in, as it should be durable enough to help keep rodents out.
Twice a year try to stock-check your first aid kit and replace any items that have been used or opened and may have been contaminated.
Checking the use-by-dates on products is vital; products such as Animalintex® that contain an active ingredient and wound dressings such as Skintact® that are presented sterile have a limited lifespan.
Animalintex® is the only VMD licensed multi-layered absorbent poultice available in the UK and contains two active ingredients, Boric Acid, kills infection and promotes faster healing and Tragacanth, a natural poulticing agent that draws out dirt and infection when activated by water, helping reduce inflammation.
It is important to regularly check and dispose of any products that have reached their use-by-date, regardless of whether they have been used or not.
While the product inside sterile packaging could still be perfectly useable, the sterile barrier within the package may have deteriorated, potentially increasing the risk of infection from contamination.
The active ingredients in products such as Animalintex® could be less effective if used beyond their expiry date.
As well as essential first aid products, make sure that you keep emergency contact numbers within your kit. Although you might keep the number of your vet and farrier in your phone contacts list, it might be someone else that needs to make the call in your absence.
If you regularly compete or travel away from home with your horse, you will need to make sure that you make the same checks on your travelling first aid kit. Horses are unpredictable meaning accidents and injuries can happen anywhere, and travelling and the excitement of show day can increase the risk.
Having basic first aid essentials in your lorry is a must if your horse suffers an injury as it is important that all cuts and wounds are treated as soon as possible to prevent infection from taking hold.
First aid kit maintenance is simple if you endeavour to replace all products as soon as they are used.
Robinson Animal Healthcare has a wide range of products for all your first aid requirements including the market-leading Animalintex®, which is the only VMD licensed multi-layered absorbent poultice available in the UK and the legendary Veterinary Gamgee®.
For more information contact Robinson Animal Healthcare or call 01909 735000